Bangkok is (still) the most visited city in the world

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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According to the new ranking of Global Destination Cities Index di Mastercard, made in 200 cities around the world, takes the podium again Bangkok.

This century has already been renamed that of mainland China, and the new edition also confirms this, however, highlighting an extraordinary e rapid economic rise of Southeast Asia, Thailand above all, even when it comes to international tourism.

The ranking is based on tourist flows based on the country of origin of international travelers: for fourth consecutive year, Bangkok has surpassed cities like Paris and London with its 22 millions of visitors during the year, instead of the approximately 19 of these two capitals.

The only city at fault remains that of UK, which loses about 4%, while the top 10 recover numbers compared to 2018: among these Tokyo, which is living a second life in anticipation of the next ones Olympics of 2020.

Already in 2008 the American magazine Travel & Leisure classified it as the best city to visit in the world because its architectural beauties are perfectly combined with culture, shopping, wellness, gastronomy. What's more, the convenience of being reached by low cost airlines such as AirAsia, Tiger e JetStar that connect it for a few tens of euros to Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, took her to the Olympus of top destinations.

If the capital of the Thailand, here are the other nine in the ranking: Parigi, London, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Istanbul, Tokyo e Antalya in Turkey, where there are still 12,41 million visitors. Italy stops only in 13th place: as regards our country, the report shows that, although there has been a decrease in the number of international travelers compared to ten years ago, the number of Italians who choose to extend their their stay with at least one overnight stay.

Our compatriots prefer to travel less by traveling better, giving themselves the opportunity to visit their favorite destinations more calmly. Among these, European cities undoubtedly exert a great charm and the favorites are Paris, London and Barcelona. However, there is no lack of those who turn their gaze to more distant continents and the American Dream still continues to influence the choice of Italians' holidays. In fact, the second preferred destination country is the United States, preceded only by the Spanish nightlife, both followed, in third place, from France.

Small curiosity about the Global Destination: the dollars spent most by travelers are concentrated in Dubai and Mecca in Saudi Arabia, followed only in third place by Bangkok. The top ten cities attract a mix of business and leisure travelers: they are also the main ones international gateways both for international flight routes and for connections between the respective regions.

If you plan to visit the winner, the Thai metropolis offers attractions and hotels for all pockets and tastes. They range from the transgressive red light district of Patpong to meditation retreats in multiple Buddhist temples. From the super luxury of hotels such as Mandarin, Oriental and Shagri-la, to the Khao San Road district, currently the favorite destination of young people for the countless guesthouses where you can find rooms starting from 4 euros per night.

Forget the car to get around: the rule is to use the ferries in service on the Chao Phraya, the river that cuts through the city and connects the tourist districts to temples, palaces, markets, the Chinatown area and the Sky Train that will allow you to reach almost all the new districts.

Mastercard's Global Destination Cities Index assumes a strong growth in spending in Bangkok in 2019, about 8,67%: surely you should put it among the next travel destinations.

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